Soccer player

13-year-old breaks record for youngest UK senior footballer

  • A Northern Irish teenager has become the UK’s youngest senior football player.
  • Christopher Atherton made his debut for Glenavon on Tuesday, aged 13 and 329 days

A 13-year-old schoolboy became the UK’s youngest senior footballer on Tuesday night when he made his debut for Northern Irish side Glenavon FC.

Christopher Atherton came on as a second-half substitute as Glenavon beat Dollingstown 6-0 in the League Cup.

He was 13 years and 329 days old.

The previous record for the UK’s youngest senior footballer was set 42 years ago by Eamon Collins, who played for Blackpool aged 14 years and 323 days.

“Congratulations Chris!” wrote Glenavon on Twitter.

Not only did Atherton make his debut, he also provided an assist for Glenavon’s sixth goal.

“Also, not to mention his first touch of the ball tonight was an assist!” added Glenavon in a second tweet. “What an incredible start! »

Speaking after the match, Glenavon head coach Gary Hamilton described Atherton as a “super kid”.

“I’ve had the pleasure of watching it every other week for the last seven or eight years,” Hamilton said. “It’s a pleasure to watch.”

Although Atherton may be the youngest senior football player in the UK, he is not the one in the world.

According to Guinness World Records, that title belongs to Bolivian Mauricio Baldivieso, who played for Aurora FC at the age of 12 years and 362 days in 1996.

Baldivieso came on as a second-half substitute in a game in La Paz after the coach brought him in as a birthday present.